Turkish Yogurt Soup (Yayla Çorbasi)

4.84 from 36 votes
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Turkish yogurt soup known as Yayla Corbasi is the perfect option for a light meal. This warm yogurt soup is simple, healthy, and naturally vegetarian.

Turkish yogurt soup is the perfect option for a light meal. This warm yogurt soup is simple, healthy, and naturally vegetarian and gluten free.


 

Turkish recipes are among my favorites. We have many classic recipes including Turkish eggs (cilbir), pide bread and lahmacun and now we have this delicious yogurt soup that I can’t wait to share with you! It’s light and so easy to make, perfect for a cold evening to enjoy for dinner.

About this recipe

As you probably know by now, I lived in Istanbul for three years and learned a lot from my Turkish colleagues and friends about Turkish cuisine and how rich it is. I love Turkish food, because it always uses fresh and seasonal ingredients and simple cooking methods which results in delicious food like our favorite red lentil soup every time.

Like other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, yogurt is a frequently used ingredient in Turkish cuisine. It’s used in appetizers such as cacik and labneh, main dishes and even drinks including ayran.

Turkish yogurt soup, or yayla corbasi is a traditional soup that’s made primarily with yogurt. It’s a simple dish that’s perfect for cold days or days that you’d like to have a light soup that doesn’t require much work. We love having a bowl of this hot yogurt soup in winter and I usually make it in a big batch to enjoy through the week.

Ingredients and substitutions

To make warm yogurt soup, you need the following ingredients: Rice: preferably basmati or any long grain. Yogurt: we need plain yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt. Egg Flour Butter Dried mint: you can find dried mint on amazon or at local Middle Eastern and Mediterranean shops.
  • Rice: Any kind of white rice including basmati or jasmine would work for this recipe.
  • Yogurt: You can use Greek yogurt or regular yogurt as long as it’s plain and not flavored. If you own an instant pot, you can try making yogurt at home.
  • Thickening mixture: A combination of egg and flour helps thickening the soup.
  • Dried mint: Another commonly used ingredient in Turkish cuisine, dried mint is usually sautéed in butter then added to the soup. You can find dried mint on Amazon or at local Middle Eastern and Mediterranean shops.

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking the rice with water until it completely falls apart. To do so, you need more water than you usually use to cook rice. Remember, the water and rice are going to be the base of this soup.
  2. Mix yogurt, egg and flour and salt in a bowl. Add more water to the cooked rice and stir well. Take the rice off the heat. Using a ladle, slowly add a few ladles of the rice and water mixture to the yogurt and egg mixture. Stir well and mix.
  3. Add the yogurt and egg mixture back to the cooked rice and water and place it over medium heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. In a small pan, melt butter and sauté dried mint for about 30 seconds until it releases its aroma. Add sautéed dried mint to the soup and stir well.
Cook the rice, mix the egg with yogurt and flour. Add water to rice and then mix with the yogurt mixture. Add mint and serve.

Frequently asked questions

How do you add yogurt to soup without curdling?

One thing that worries cooks about adding yogurt while cooking is that the food might curdle. To prevent curdling, you must add some of the warm rice and water to the yogurt and egg mixture and mix well to increase the temperature of the yogurt mixture. This step should be done slowly and gradually, meaning you need to add rice and water little by little to the yogurt and mix well after each addition.

Can I make this soup ahead of time?

Yes, you can make yayla corbasi up to 2 days in advance. Make sure to store it in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. To reheat, place the soup in a pot over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Can I freeze yogurt soup?

This soup would be icy and lose its texture if frozen therefore its best to keep it refrigerated.

Serving suggestions

Turkish yogurt soup is a delicious light meal on its own but you can also serve it with some warm homemade pita or with some cold couscous salad or Turkish bulgur salad (kisir) to turn it into a full meal. I also love serving this with homemade borek.

Turkish yogurt soup is a delicious light meal on its own .

Notes and tips

  • The amount of rice for this recipe is 1/2 cup which might not seem enough. However, since the rice will be over cooked and would completely fall apart, it will multiply in size and would be enough for 4-6 servings.
  • It’s best if you have the egg and yogurt at room temperature before you start cooking.
  • Use a large bowl to mix the yogurt and the egg because you’ll need more space to stir in the water from the pot.
  • Dried mint burns easily therefore make sure not to sauté it more than 30 seconds. You can also use olive oil instead of butter.
yayla corbasi or Turkish yogurt soup is easy and very tasty.

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4.84 from 36 votes

Turkish Yogurt Soup Yayla Corbasi

Turkish yogurt soup is the perfect option for a light meal. This warm yogurt soup is simple, healthy, and naturally vegetarian.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup white rice, washed and rinsed
  • 5 cups water, see notes
  • 1.5 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt , more if needed
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, see notes
  • 2 tbsp dried mint , see notes

Instructions 

  • Place the rice and water in a large pot and bring to simmer. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and has fallen apart. If after 40 minutes, the rice hasn't fallen apart, add one more cup of water and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix yogurt, egg, flour and salt. 
  • Once the rice is cooked and has broken into very small pieces, turn the heat off. 
  • using ladle, slowly add about 1 1/2 cup of the rice and water to the yogurt and egg mixture and stir well after each addition. 
  • Add the yogurt and egg mixture back into the pot. Stir well, turn the heat on to medium and bring to a low simmer. 
  • Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • In a small pan, melt the butter and saute dried mint for about 30 seconds. 
  • Add sauteed mint and butter to the simmering soup. Stir well. 
  • Serve Turkish yogurt soup warm. 

Notes

  • The amount of rice for this recipe is 1/2 cup which might not seem enough. However, since the rice will be over cooked and would completely fall apart, it will multiply in size and would be enough for 4-6 servings.
  • It’s best if you have the egg and yogurt at room temperature before you start cooking.
  • Use a large bowl to mix the yogurt and the egg because you’ll need more space to stir in the water from the pot.
  • Dried mint burns easily therefore make sure not to sauté it more than a minute. You can also use olive oil instead of butter.
  • You can use long grain or short grain white rice for this recipe. Either basmati or jasmine rice would work.
  • You may need to add more water depending on the rice and how thick you would like the soup to be. 

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    i read a news article about soups around the world, and wanted to try this. The recipe is easy to follow and very helpful. i had fresh mint, so I washed it the night before and left it drying overnight. Worked out fine! It’s a delicious soup, and very easy to make! Will make again!